NFC Technology May Be Missing from Major Smartphone Release This Year

One of the biggest rumors in the mobile blogosphere today is that Apple is reportedly moving ahead with its fifth generation iPhone and not including NFC technology as originally anticipated.

Near Field Communication (NFC) technology enables mobile users to shop and pay at retail locations directly through their phone – no need for cash or plastic. But if new published reports prove accurate, NFC’s tethering to Apple’s forthcoming iPhone 5 may be delayed.

Based on information obtained by the Independent, Apple has begun notifying European phone carriers that the iPhone 5 will not include the previously reported NFC payment system. Why? Apple is said to be concerned that there is no “standard across the industry” for wave-and-pay systems at this time.

One source close to the discussions said: “The new iPhone will not have NFC, Apple told the operators it was concerned by the lack of a clear standard across the industry.” Yet Apple is understood to be working on its own NFC proposition, which would link payments through iTunes. It hopes to introduce the technology in a handset likely to be released next year.

For months it was thought that Apple would essentially “lead the way” in creating its own NFC technology, which would then create the presently lacking “industry standard.”

Apple’s decision to forgo NFC – if the report is accurate – could give an upper hand to Apple’s chief competitors in the smartphone space – particularly Google’s Nexus S, which already sports NFC technology.